In the last decade, gender violence, femicides, and frustrated femicides have risen in Chile. In turn, the Chilean law defining the crime of femicide has been evolving and modified to broaden the concept beyond formal or informal couple relationships. Femicide is the murder of a woman at the hands of the person who is or has been her spouse or partner or with whom she has children in common. It is also the murder of a woman because of her gender, when, for example, the victim has refused to have a sexual or sentimental relationship with her aggressor; as a result of having been or being a sex worker; when there is rape before the crime; when the murder is motivated by the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the victim, or when any situation is proven where subordination is evidenced by unequal power relations between the aggressor and the victim, or motivated by an evident intention of discrimination.
Between 2013 and 2020, 43 women are victims of femicide annually. When talking about frustrated femicides, the numbers tend to rise: from 78 registered in 2013, in 2020, they reached 151. According to data from the registry of consummated and unconsummated femicides kept by Sernameg, as of November 23, 2021, in Chile, there are 35 consummated femicides and 144 frustrated femicides. In 2020, 151 were recorded, the highest figure in the last eight years. Amid the pandemic, the number of frustrated femicides increased by 38% compared to 2019, when 109 cases were recorded.

The total closure of public spaces, imposed by the lengthy quarantines resulting from Covid19 during 2020 and part of 2021, relegated women and their families to the domestic area. The health, economic and social crisis Chile has been facing since October 2019 has turned homes into reduced, overcrowded, precarious, and often violent spaces. This modification of the domestic area in its dynamics, functioning, and possible – or impossible – limits of privacy brought notable, although relatively invisible, consequences for women, for whom living with their aggressors 24 hours a day became a nightmare with no escape, too often deadly.
The crises, in their various forms, have a more significant impact on women than men since they exacerbate pre-existing inequalities. The Covid19 pandemic was affected.

The situation of women is affected in various ways: by feminizing poverty due to the high unemployment figures of women who had to leave the labor market; domestic violence, and violence against women that is aggravated in contexts of confinement, where they must live with their aggressor, in addition to the overload of paid and unpaid work, increasing the hours that women must devote to caring for family members, the sick or children, in addition to household chores.

In a pandemic context like the one we are facing, with public services, especially hospital services, saturated, the protection of women victims of domestic violence by the State was relegated to some actions issued by Sernameg. These measures, implemented in the framework of the Contingency Plan for Coronavirus of the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity, did not mean an exceptional budget increase but budgetary readjustments, including reinforcing the attention via telephone guidance (phone number 1455); enabling silent communication channels, such as WhatsApp, web chat and social networks, and the so-called “Mascarilla 19”, which based on the Spanish and Argentine experience, defined protocols of action when women delivered the code in pharmacies. However, in the Report on the human rights situation in Chile in the context of the pandemic, the Citizen Observatory, the media, and women’s organizations reported that when they went to various pharmacies requesting the Mascarilla 19, the orientation and denunciation foreseen in the protocol was not activated.
Also, from the institutional framework, measures were developed to ensure continuity of care in the Women’s Centers, Sexual Violence Centers, and Shelters, especially in cases of extreme violence. For its part, the National Prosecutor’s Office set up an online form for filing complaints.
According to figures collected by the Citizen Observatory, during the period of the health crisis, calls to 1455 increased by 200%. For example, between April and June 2019, the 1455 number received more than 13 thousand calls, while in the same period, in 2020, the figure rose to almost 41 thousand calls.
Calls to the Fono Familia of Carabineros increased by 119% between March and April, and half corresponded to domestic violence cases. The difficulty of making calls or complaints in the context of the pandemic and confinement explains why they have decreased by 20% between March and April and by 40% during the first two weeks of April 2020.
Even though during the health emergency, the courts of justice significantly restricted their operation, during the period, they tried to protect women, children, and adolescents who were victims of domestic violence so that complaints in these matters were prioritized.

According to data from the registry of consummated and unconsummated femicides kept by Sernameg, as of November 23, 2021, 35 consummated femicides and 144 frustrated femicides were registered in Chile. In 2020, 151 were recorded, the highest figure in the last eight years. Amid the pandemic, the number of frustrated femicides increased by 38% compared to 2019, when 109 cases were recorded.

The study Dynamics within the home during the pandemic, prepared by the Miles Corporation and the Center for Women’s Studies (CEM) in 2020, showed that the primary type of violence exercised during the pandemic was psychological or emotional. Some 88% of the women surveyed said they had suffered it: disqualifications, humiliations, and ill-treatment were the primary forms of aggression, followed by economic violence and gender-based violence, i.e., humiliation received because of how they behaved, dressed, or expressed their identity.
According to the same study, almost all the people who responded to the survey had experienced some form of violence during the health crisis (97%), mainly of a psychological and emotional nature. Of these, the majority are between 19 and 29 years of age. 28% of the people living in the Metropolitan Region acknowledge having experienced some situation of violence during the pandemic: most of them live in the suburban sector, such as Talagante, Peñaflor, Lampa, Curacaví, Padre Hurtado, Pirque, Paine, Buin, Calera de Tango, Melipilla, Isla de Maipo, El Monte and San José de Maipo.
Those surveyed in the Miles y CEM study say that the telephone services and online communication channels of Sernameg are the least used to make complaints. The best known are the Carabineros’ telephone numbers. When asked where they would first seek support/guidance when experiencing a situation of violence, 79% indicated that they would turn to their personal networks.
“It is relevant to note that a deficient number of people (1%) would go first to the Carabineros or use the counseling services provided by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality and the National Women’s Service and the police telephone numbers, even though the latter are the ones that people are most familiar with,” the results of the study indicate.
The Third Report on Rights, Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Violence in Chile, published in April 2021 by Miles Chile, indicates that, of the total number of people who answered the survey, 15% stated that they had experienced some situation that compromised their physical integrity. Only 21% of them asked for help. And 20% of those who experienced psychological violence did so, while the people who least activated their networks were those who suffered sexual and economic violence.

El cierre prácticamente total de los espacios públicos, impuesto por las largas cuarentenas producto del Covid19 durante 2020 y parte de 2021, relegó a las mujeres y sus familias al espacio doméstico. La crisis sanitaria, económica y social que enfrenta Chile desde octubre de 2019 ha convertido los hogares en espacios reducidos, hacinados, precarizados y muchas veces violentos. Esta modificación del espacio doméstico en sus dinámicas, funcionamientos y límites posibles –o imposibles– de la privacidad, trajo notables, aunque más bien invisibles, consecuencias para las mujeres, para quienes convivir con sus agresores las 24 horas del día se tornó una pesadilla sin escapatoria, demasiadas veces mortal.

Las crisis, en sus diversas formas, repercuten más en las mujeres que los hombres, puesto que agudizan las inequidades preexistentes. La pandemia del Covid19 afectó en las mujeres de diversas formas: feminizando la pobreza, por las altas cifras de desempleo de mujeres que debieron salir del espacio laboral; una violencia intrafamiliar y contra las mujeres que se agrava en contextos de confinamiento, donde deben convivir con su agresor, además de sobrecarga del trabajo remunerado y del no remunerado, aumentando las horas que las mujeres deben dedicar al cuidado de familiares, enfermos o hijos, sumado a las tareas domésticas.

En un contexto de pandemia como la que enfrentamos, con los servicios públicos, especialmente los hospitalarios, saturados, la protección a las mujeres víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar por parte del Estado quedó relegada a algunas acciones emitidas desde el Sernameg. Estas medidas, implementadas en el marco del Plan de Contingencia por Coronavirus del Ministerio de la Mujer y Equidad de Género, no significaron un aumento de presupuesto especial sino reajustes presupuestarios, incluyeron reforzar la atención vía telefónica de orientación (fono 1455); habilitar canales de comunicación silenciosa, como WhatsApp, chat web y redes sociales, y la denominada “Mascarilla 19”, que basada en la experiencia española y argentina, definió protocolos de actuación cuando las mujeres entregaban el código en las farmacias. Sin embargo, el Informe sobre situación de los derechos humanos en Chile en el contexto de pandemia, el Observatorio Ciudadano, medios de prensa y organizaciones de mujeres, reportaron que al acudir a diversas farmacias solicitando la Mascarilla 19, no se habría activado la orientación y denuncia prevista en el protocolo.

También desde la institucionalidad, se elaboraron medidas tendientes a asegurar la continuidad de la atención en los Centros de la mujer, los Centros de Violencia Sexual y de las Casas de Acogida, sobre todo en casos de violencia extrema. Por su parte, la Fiscalía Nacional habilitó un formulario online para la presentación de denuncias.

Según cifras recabadas por el Observatorio Ciudadano, durante el periodo de crisis sanitaria los llamados al 1455 subieron en un 200%. Por ejemplo, entre abril y junio de 2019 el número 1455 recibió más de 13 mil llamados, mientras en el mismo periodo en 2020 la cifra ascendió a casi 41 mil llamadas.
Las llamadas al Fono Familia de Carabineros aumentaron un 119% entre marzo y abril. De ellos, la mitad correspondería a casos de violencia intrafamiliar. La dificultad de realizar llamadas o denuncias en contexto de pandemia y confinamiento explica que hayan disminuido en un 20% entre marzo y abril y un 40% durante la primera quincena de abril 2020.
Pese a que durante la emergencia sanitaria los tribunales de justicia restringieron en gran medida su funcionamiento, en el período se procuró resguardar a mujeres, niños, niñas y adolescentes víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar para que las denuncias por estas materias fueran priorizadas.

Según datos del registro de femicidios consumados y no consumados que mantiene el Sernameg, al 23 de noviembre de 2021, en Chile se registran 35 femicidios consumados y 144 femicidios frustrados. Durante 2020, se contabilizaron 151, la cifra más alta en los últimos ocho años. En medio de la pandemia, el número de femicidios frustrados aumentó un 38% respecto de 2019, año en que se registraron 109 casos.
El estudio Dinámicas al interior del hogar durante la pandemia, elaborado por la Corporación Miles y el Centro de Estudios de la Mujer (CEM) durante 2020, arrojó que el principal tipo de violencia ejercida durante la pandemia fue psicológica o emocional. Un 88% de las encuestadas aseguraron haberla sufrido: descalificaciones, humillaciones y malos tratos fueron las principales formas de agresión, seguidas de la violencia económica y por expresión de género, es decir, humillaciones recibidas por la forma de comportarse, vestir o expresar su identidad.

Según el mismo estudio, casi todas las personas que contestaron la encuesta han vivido alguna situación de violencia durante la crisis sanitaria (97%), principalmente de índole psicológica y emocional. De ellas, la mayoría fluctúa entre los 19 y los 29 años. El 28% de las personas que viven en la Región Metropolitana reconoce haber vivido alguna situación de violencia durante la pandemia: la mayoría de ellas viven en el sector suburbano, como Talagante, Peñaflor, Lampa, Curacaví, Padre Hurtado, Pirque, Paine, Buin, Calera de Tango, Melipilla, Isla de Maipo, El Monte y San José de Maipo.

Las encuestadas en el estudio de Miles y CEM, aseguran que los servicios telefónicos y canales de comunicación online del Sernameg son los menos usados para realizar denuncias. Los más conocidos corresponden a los números telefónicos de Carabineros. Al preguntarles a las encuestadas dónde buscarían en primer lugar apoyo/orientación en caso de vivir alguna situación de violencia, el 79% señala que acudiría a sus redes personales.

“Es relevante visibilizar que un número muy bajo de personas (1%) acudiría en primer lugar a Carabineros o utilizaría los servicios de orientación dispuestos por el Ministerio de la Mujer y de la Equidad de Género y Servicio Nacional de la Mujer y los números telefónicos de la policía; aún cuando estos últimos son los que las personas más conocen”, indican los resultados del estudio.

El Tercer Informe sobre Derechos, Salud Sexual Reproductiva y Violencia de Género en Chile, publicado en abril de 2021 por Miles Chile indica que, del total de personas que contestaron la encuesta, un 15% declaró haber experimentado alguna situación que puso en compromiso su integridad física. Solo el 21% de ellas solicitó ayuda. Y un 20% de quienes experimentaron violencia psicológica lo hizo, mientras las personas que menos activaron sus redes son aquellas que padecen violencia sexual y económica.